Jesus the Messiah
Reading: Luke 9:18-27
And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
Finally, after all the miracles and signs we have read about, after the questions from Herod and the people about who is this one who says such things and does such things… We get the answer.
You, Jesus says to his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?
Peter, by the Holy Spirit, makes explicit in words what the facts have been demonstrating: Jesus is the Christ of God, the Messiah.
This passage is very rich, we could meditate many things about it, let’s look at least a couple of things.
Jesus’ identity: Jesus makes his divine identity explicit before his disciples. They are not following just another prophet, but they are following the promised Messiah to whom all the Law and the Prophets point. Jesus’ identity as God incarnate explains, finally, his authority over nature, over sickness, and even over death and sin.
The mission of Jesus: The reason Jesus asks the disciples not to reveal this to anyone is because his mission is not simply to overthrow the power of the Roman Empire but to bear upon himself the burden of all human wickedness and to suffer for the sin of men, suffering and dying in our place.
The identity of his disciples: Jesus’ disciples are not citizens of this world, they do not live by the same criteria as others. To be a disciple of Jesus implies being willing to live this way. Willing to die to our selfishness and our sin and to understand that true life is in Christ. So that we can say, like Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
MEDITATE: Do we want to know Jesus? Do we really want to be his disciples?